At Theodore Parker Church, we recognize that adult learning takes myriad forms, not least our time in building relationships with each other. We learn together in worship, in service to our congregation and the world around us.

That said, we also learn in more structured ways! Much of our focus this year and last has been centered in three areas: economic inequality, climate change, and racial justice. Through book groups exploring Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything, Debby Irving’s Waking Up White, and All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, we have been challenging ourselves to understand the systems we inhabit.

We chose two books for our 2017 “Summer Reads”: The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois (1903), and All About Love: New Visions by the prolific and inspired feminist writer and cultural critic, bell hooks. Our hope was that interspersing hooks’ contemporary search for a love ethic with DuBois’ historical and emotional exploration of black life in America will compliment both texts while giving the readers a dynamic and inspiring experience.

Our Racial Justice Task Force recently presented a series of films also intended to inform and challenge, including” “Anne Borden: Southern Patriot,” “The Return,” “All the Difference,” and “Dear White People.”

In December 2017, the speaker for our fourth annual Theodore Parker Lecture was Samer Neseredden. His topic was Islam and the Beloved Community. Samer works as the Muslim spiritual advisor for Northeastern University and volunteers as the Muslim co-chaplain at MIT. Our 2016 Theodore Parker Lecture speaker was the Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Associate Minister for Ecological Justice at Bethel African American Episcopal Church, in Jamaica Plain. Her address was entitled The Best is Yet to Come: the Opportunity of the Climate Crisis.

We are anxious to respond to the needs and curiosities of our community. If there’s something you want to know about, let us know and we’ll see if we can make it happen!